Monday, March 23, 2015

A Weekend Exploring Yuma’s Historic Districts

Colorado River Yuma Arizona
The Colorado River, the old gateway to California.
Yuma is often viewed as nothing more than a way-point to bigger cities like Phoenix, Tucson, or San Diego (depending on your direction).  However, Yuma has a lot of history for travelers looking for a small town weekend getaway.  Yuma’s part in United States history began during the California Gold Rush when the Yuma Crossing over the Colorado River was used as the gateway to California.  Today Yuma is an important agricultural town, but it still has vestiges of its past preserved in its historic districts. 
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Monday, March 16, 2015

A California Coastal Drive Through Big Sur

Bixby Bridge California Coastal Drive Through Big Sur
Bixby Bridge and the California coast.
I had heard people wax nostalgic about driving the California coast many times, saying it was the most beautiful road trip they had ever taken.  I always wondered what part they meant because my California coastal drive experiences hadn’t blown me away.  Many of the routes along the California coast are shielded from the ocean by land masses, trees, or towns, and the parts that do have ocean views are very pretty, but didn’t evoke the strong feelings stirred in these other travelers.  I had driven the coast from San Diego to Paso Robles and from Oregon to San Francisco.  But what I hadn’t done was drive the California coast highway through Big Sur, the 90-mile stretch between Carmel and San Simeon, at least not until we recently took a road trip along this stunning portion of the California coast.  It was during this drive that I saw the light and realized that yes, California does in fact have one of the best coastal drives in the world.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Alligator Hunting on a New Orleans Swamp Tour

Holding a Juvenile Alligator New Orleans Swamp Tour
We got to hold a juvenile alligator during our swamp tour.
First let me set your mind at ease, we were only hunting alligators with our eyes and our cameras (though we did eat some alligator bisque while in New Orleans).  While most activities in New Orleans center on history, culture, and cuisine, the city provides a unique opportunity for travelers to experience nature as well on a New Orleans swamp tour.  The Louisiana swamps and bayous, just a short drive from New Orleans, give visitors the chance to take a boat ride and see swamp animals and plants in the great outdoors.

Monday, March 2, 2015

3 Unique San Diego Outdoor Activities

GoCar San Diego Bay

Many travelers to San Diego are repeat visitors.  While San Diego has a number of very popular tourist attractions like the Zoo, Sea World, Balboa Park, the beach, etc., return travelers may want to experience something different than what they’ve done before.  We’ve scouted out three unique San Diego outdoor activities perfect for both first time and repeat visitors, as they take advantage of our sunny weather, visit some of the popular places in San Diego, and provide a unique way to experience them.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Relaxing Ensenada Weekend Getaway

Hotel Coral & Marina Balcony View Ensenada Baja California Mexico
The view of the marina and Pacific Ocean from our Hotel Coral & Marina guestroom's private balcony.
Life has been a little crazy in the full-time non-travel work sector, so I was ready to spend a weekend of relaxation away from it all.  The beautiful thing about having a destination like Ensenada so close to us is that while there are many things to do in Ensenada, there’s no pressure to experience them all in one trip.  So for this weekend trip to Ensenada we decided to take things slow, something we rarely do.  Our little Baja weekend getaway over the Valentine’s Day weekend included good wine, good food, a lot of relaxation, and a tiny bit of activity just so we didn’t feel like complete lumps. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Walking Tours of New Orleans

French Quarter Courtyard Walking Tour New Orleans
A French Quarter courtyard discovered during our French Quarter walking tour.
New Orleans is a city of history and stories and locals who want to share those stories with visitors.  One of our walking tour guides said it could take months, if not years, for her to share everything we would need to know to understand New Orleans.  While travelers can certainly soak up New Orleans’ historic architecture, friendly people, mouthwatering food, tasty cocktails, and soul-stirring music while walking the streets of New Orleans on their own, they might miss the history and stories that define New Orleans.  Taking one or more of New Orleans’ walking tours will acquaint visitors with the pieces of past and present that make New Orleans the city it is today.  Here are some of the best walking tours of New Orleans and just a few highlights of what you can learn from them. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Small Town Wild West Weekend in Yuma

Castle Dome Mine Museum Church and Hotel Yuma Arizona

A weekend visit to Yuma offers both the charm of a small American town and a unique glimpse back to the days of the Wild West.  Yuma has less than 100,000 citizens, though it is estimated its population doubles in the winter when the snowbirds come to town.  Yuma has quite a mix of things to do that highlight its small town charms and Wild West history. If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, Yuma definitely fits the bill with the types of attractions that can only be found in a small town.